PESHAWAR – Eminent religious scholars of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have announced to launch a campaign t o educate women regarding their right to vote and ensure maximum participation of women voters in the upcoming general elections.

For this purpose, a project funded by the Foundation for the Future, a Jordan based organization, is being launched in six districts including Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda, Swabi, and Malakand division, said Maulana Rahim Haqqani, Consultant, National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF), a committee comprising Ulema from different schools of thought, here at a news conference on Friday.

He informed that the basic objective to sensitize women about their fundamental and legitimate right of vote aims to ensure their maximum participation in the upcoming general elections.

Owing to the cultural norms and social taboos, Maulana observed that women in a large number were unable to use the constitutional right to vote of their choice but that is not a good omen. Flanked by the NRDF provincial head of core-group, Maulana Jehanzeb, program Manager Zahid Akhtar and social Moblizer, Sheeba Altaf, he informed that a volunteer group comprising democratic ambassador would be formed to create awareness among women about the significance of vote. “We will try to get access all those women who were unaware about the importance of their right to vote”, he determined.

Under the project, he further informed that a consultative group would also be constituted that will comprise of information secretaries of different political and religious parties, to task their workers to sensitize women about significance of vote in their respective constituencies. We will ensure to convince maximum women to use their constitutional right in the next general elections, he claimed.

Besides, Zahid Akhtar, NRDF representative said that according to the available data of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), about 40 to 45 percent women were still deprived of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC), whereas the project would be helpful to convince women to get registration with Nadra for provision of CNIC.

Akhtar further informed that the Foundation for the Future, a Jordan based organization would assist an amount of US $50,000 to carry out this awareness campaign in six districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province under the project, which is to be completed within six months. He said that women voters’ turnout always remained around 40 per cent in general elections despite the 52 percent of the total population of the country.